Former Burnley FC, Preston North End and Blackpool footballer Clarke Carlisle has been ordered to undertake unpaid work in the community after he earlier admitted a drink-driving offence.
The ex-footballer turned television and radio pundit has appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court this afternoon to learn his fate after admitting failing to provide specimen to police who stopped him in London just before Christmas. He must carry out 150 hours of community work and has also been banned from driving until March 2018.
The court has heard that when police stopped Carlisle he was eating a burrito at the wheel of his Mercedes car and swerved, nearly hitting a lorry in Pentonville Road, Islington, about 7am. He refused to give a breath sample until he had sought legal advice, which his defence team stated was a mistake on his part, although he was said to be “polite and cooperative” at the police station.
It was just two days after his arrest that Carlisle tried to take his own life by jumping in front of a 12-ton lorry on the A64 near York. He received serious injuries in the incident and was hospitalised before being admitted for treatment at a mental health unit. The district judge hearing the case described it as “a moment of personal crisis” and the court was told Carlisle’s “difficulties have been ongoing for decades”.
The court heard Carlisle was “no stranger to driving offences of this ilk” having been pulled over for drink-driving offences in 2011 and 1999 while a defence report seen by the District Judge has told how he “utterly oozes remorse”, with much of the report too private and personal to be read in court.
The father-of-three, who has acted as a mental health advocate and talked openly about his own mental health issues, has since worked to set up foundation to help those suffering with mental health issues and associated addictions.
Carlisle, former chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, also pleaded guilty to a charge of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence on the same date, when police officers spotted him driving in an “erratic” manner.
He has also been given two weeks to pay £145 in court costs.
Following the hearing there were emotional scenes as Carlisle hugged tearful family members and thanked his legal team.